On Friday, we got word that Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the number one film at the box office in 2015, finally passed beyond $900 million mark. At the time, it was suspected that the sequel, which was directed by J.J. Abrams and starred Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley, would cross the $2 billion mark this weekend. Well, surprise, surprise: Disney confirmed today that the seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise has joined the scant company in the ultra-VIP area that is the $2 billion club.
As my colleague Adam Chitwood pointed out, this was an expected turn of events but doesn’t mean that Abrams’ film will necessarily usurp James Cameron‘s Avatar, which sits at the top of the box office heap with $2.79 billion worldwide. It’s certainly possible, however, that The Force Awakens will surpass Cameron’s other major money-maker, Titanic, which currently has a $2.19 billion box office. The film’s weekly take at the box office doesn’t suggest that the film has the legs to quite make the climb up to the $800 million or so worth of tickets that would bring it up to the top with Cameron’s blue-alien-people environmental adventure.
This does, however, point to the fact that Rian Johnson‘s anticipated sequel to the film, Star Wars: Episode VIII, could very well make the numbers. The Force Awakens seemingly rebuilt a base audience that might have had some trepidation about the film, considering the not-so-stellar dramatic substance of the prequels. Johnson’s film will have a sturdier fan base likely, and considering the Looper director’s history of making visionary, original material, Johnson could very well break this trilogy out of the accusations of repetition of the original trilogy. This is all speculation clearly, and we shall see what comes in the coming weeks and when the eighth Star Wars film sees release.
Anyway, on the occasion of The Force Awakens crossing the $2 billion mark, Disney chairman Alan Horn had this to say via EW:
“This is a historic moment for Star Wars, for Lucasfilm, and for Disney, and all of us here are extremely gratified to be a part of this journey with fans around the world who have made Star Wars: The Force Awakens such an extraordinary success…The film’s achievements are truly astounding, and it’s our great honor to relaunch this cinematic galaxy not only for all the devoted decades-long fans but for a new generation who will keep the Star Wars legacy alive for many years to come.”